First things first, Argentine football’s second division is no longer called the Primera B Nacional. The “B” has been dropped and it is now simply known as the Primera Nacional. Which may seem odd, but don’t forget, England’s League 1 is their third division. So just go with it.
For a quick recap, the Primera Nacional will have 32 teams split into two groups of 16. There will be 30 matches, each team playing the rest of the opponents in their zone home and away. The top team in each division will play for the championship of the league with a promotion to the Superliga at stake. The teams in second, third, and fourth will play a mini-tournament to determine the second promotion spot.
32 teams. Two promotions. Two relegations (no promedios).
— AFA (@afa) August 1, 2019
In concept, it sounds simple enough. But 32 teams are way too many to break down one by one. So, as we preview the Primera Nacional’s new season, let’s instead focus on some of the players that you may be familiar with as well as a couple of the potential teams that could be a part of the promotion picture.
Players You May Recognize
Patricio Toranzo (Almagro)
While 37-year-old El Pato has played for half a dozen clubs, the majority of his career has been spent with Huracan. The winger joins the greater Buenos Aires club just hours before the transfer window’s closure. He made two appearances for the national team under Diego Maradona.
Pablo Ledesma (Alvarado)
A ten-time title winner with Boca, the Cordobés midfielder most recently helped Patronato stave off relegation last season. Though his previous club managed to stay up, this season he will once again have the goal of helping his club play next season in the Superliga.
Mauro Matos (Barracas Central)
A San Lorenzo legend for the important goals he scored in their 2014 Libertadores campaign. The 37-year-old has previously spent time earlier in his career in the second division with All Boys. Last season he played for Atletico Tucuman.
Clemente Rodríguez (Barracas Central)
Rodriguez may be 38 years old, but he has plenty of experience to help a club fighting for promotion. He has played for Boca on three separate occasions, Espanyol, Estudiantes, São Paolo, and most recently, Colón.
Ricardo Noir (Belgrano)
Noir is a product of the Boca academy. His best season came back in 2014 when he helped Banfield gain promotion from the B Nacional. He has also played for Newells, Racing, Huracán, and was champion with Universidad de Chile in 2016.
Pablo Vegetti (Belgrano)
Possibly not a well-known name to those who only follow the Superliga, but Vegetti was last season’s top goal scorer for Instituto. He scored 15 goals in 23 matches and was wanted by clubs throughout South American, but decided to stay in Córdoba and join Belgrano. His best spell in the top flight was with Gimnasia.
Carlos Carbonero (Ferro)
One of the best signings of the transfer window, Carbonero represented Colombia as recently as the 2014 World Cup. In Argentina he has played for Arsenal, Estudiantes, and was champion with River in 2014.
Daniel Díaz (Nueva Chicago)
Another well-established veteran, at age 40 Cata Diaz has split his career between Argentina, Mexico, and Spain. Best known for his time in Argentina with both Rosario Central and Boca. He also has 12 caps for the national team.
Juan Mercier (San Martín de Tucumán)